Kathy Oliver’s Katharsis

´Katharsis´ Kathy Oliver (Seth Van Horn)

´Katharsis´ Kathy Oliver (Seth Van Horn)

o ahead, call me a bitch. Call me a nag, a wench, a ball buster, or choose a more obscene diminutive if you’d prefer. But don’t you dare call me a feminist.
Now before you start up with the whole “you’re reinforcing our culture as a vicious patriarchy” bit, allow me to explain. There was once a time when being called a feminist was considered quite a compliment.
“Feminism” used to represent a noble effort by women and men alike for that one ever-present ambition: equality. Merriam-Webster defines feminism as “the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes.”
But Merriam-Webster’s definition just doesn’t apply to reality anymore.
Nowadays, the word feminist alludes to a certain type of woman. It paints a picture of an angry, seething, man-hating behemoth, who is bored with the whole “equality” thing and has her sights set on a new objective: a matriarchy. And as far as men joining the good fight, forget it – they’re the enemy. These women behave as though simply being born female has victimized them, as if they feel a sense of entitlement to anything their cold little hearts desire.
Do not associate me with these bitter extremists.
Now, to be fair, do I think this is a fair assessment of all women’s rights activists? No, of course not. It is, however, the common, though admittedly unfair, stereotype. And although stereotypes are almost never flattering, they almost always are derived from some truth, even if that truth is entirely irrelevant to the big picture.
My point is that these livid modern day amazons do exist, but make up such a small percentage, that they accomplish nothing but cause just enough damage to alienate society.
To the womyn of whom I’m speaking, my problem here, and the thing that makes you give all feminists such a bad name, is not your flagrant display of unoriginal t-shirts, your mindless chants, or even your hypocritical objective – hey, free country.
It’s the ignorance with which you chase your goals.
You want to keep abortion legal? Great. You want more government support for single moms? Awesome. You want the beady-eyed moron out of the White House? Swell, join the club. I want all these things too.
But some people don’t. And no matter how much you bitch, they aren’t going to change their minds. I know, it sucks, but it’s the truth. And before you can get anywhere with your cause, you have to accept that.
Am I saying to stop educating the public in an attempt to reel in support? Not at all. But if they don’t want to hear about it, chances are you won’t be the one to make them see the light. Some things you cannot change. Quit wasting your time and move on to the things you can. You can start by looking in the mirror. Being loud and obnoxious doesn’t get you much once you complete pre-school.
It is a little known fact that years ago, I too called myself a feminist. But somewhere in the midst of shaving my legs, befriending males, and wearing a dress to prom I began to feel unwanted.
I wasn’t angry enough, I didn’t have enough trouble sleeping at night. Sounds stupid, but I know I’m not alone here, and every female who has a similar story to mine is one less person that will be supporting both you and the many other feminists who are legitimately pursuing your cause.
But hey, who needs us? After all, we’re just women.

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